MCPS Achieves Highest Rating in State, Poll Shows

January 25, 2005
Montgomery County Public Schools scored the highest marks in the state among voters in the new Maryland Poll conducted for The Baltimore Sun by Potomac Incorporated.

Montgomery County Public Schools received an average grade of 3.05 (equal to a "B") among voters -- significantly higher than the statewide average of 2.46 (equal to a "C"), according to the poll conducted among state voters, January 3-5, 2005. In fact, 71 percent of respondents gave MCPS a grade of "A" or "B".

The Montgomery County Public Schools grade also shows steady improvement in public approval over the last three years. The 3.05 grade is up from 2.87 in 2004 and 2.74 in 2003.

"Our academic reforms have produced positive, measurable results in the classroom. This poll underscores that Montgomery County residents recognize this success and agree that we're on the right track," said Dr. Jerry D. Weast, superintendent of schools.

"Montgomery County, as evidenced in our most recent survey, stands out for the extremely high regard it places in its public schools. Not only does the broader public rate the quality of schools higher than anyplace in the state, but it also continues to push for greater investment in public education," said Keith Haller, president of Potomac Incorporated. "The County remains a bastion for valuing public education like few other communities in the nation."

Recent editorials in The Washington Post and The Gazette also referenced the school system's continued improvement. The Gazette described Montgomery's schools as "showcase" on January 19 and the Post on January 16 said, "The school system, which accounts for half the county's spending, has produced excellent results despite growing enrollments."

Montgomery County Public Schools continue to reach new heights of academic achievement. MCPS students set a new record in Maryland last year by scoring an average of 1102 on the SAT. MCPS also had the most students ever take the test.

A list of academic achievement highlights follows:

MCPS Record of Success -- Academic Highlights

-Highest SAT score (1102) in the history of MCPS and the state of Maryland with the greatest number of seniors ever to take the test

-Record numbers of students from all groups taking Honors and AP courses

-Record numbers of students -- 10,000 -- taking AP tests

-51 National Merit Scholars

-23 high schools among the top five percent in the U.S. that encourage AP and IB testing

-Highest ever results on the High School Assessments

-More students completing Algebra by 8th grade

-29 National Blue Ribbon Schools

-3rd grade students posted highest results ever on the Maryland School Assessments

-2nd grade students are among the highest achieving students in the nation on the CTBS

-Record numbers of students reading in kindergarten

-Highest number of semifinalists in the nation (15) in the 64th Intel Science Talent Search

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